Mark 8:30

At which Jesus charged them not to say this about him to anyone.

there is nothing more to tell
we have arrived where rules falter

any explanation offered reduces
next available responses

to say anything more than nothing
turns our more to dusty vanity

our Barnum boasts always disappoint
leaving no doubt of our suckerhood


Peter just gave the “right” answer and this is the thanks he gets, “Keep it to yourself. No one is to know you got this one.”

It is easy to turn this into support for some Messianic secret Mark is trying to keep with the larger and smaller silences that keep coming around. But, given the multiplicity of understandings about a Messiah, it may be better to stick with the likely need for continued growth in understanding before being too carried away with a bumper-sticker title.

This need for more understanding than a multivalent term such as Messiah has Myers101 using an intriguing image, “But, to our chagrin, Peter is immediately silenced by Jesus, as if he were just another demon trying to ‘name’ Jesus (see 1:26, 3:12)!”

This has a two-fold practical result of not inflaming the Roman and Temple leadership to more aggressively come after Jesus, as well as leaving open clarification of what Jesus understands about his Blessing and Testing that is different than other traditions. This delay in clarity will, at some point, lead to a recognition of irreconcilable differences that will need to be faced.

“Messiah”, too easily claimed or bestowed can be expected to fail yet one more time. To set forth a Leader as the solution to present ills as though that one is the only one who can make things right, begins a trail toward a distanced autocrat or dictator based on anger—an angry G*D and angry Messiah and angry Leader. To place all of a culture’s eggs in one basket is asking for a civil war to finally come out of its cold-war phase, to some form of assured mutual destruction as one Messiah sect does in the next, until the circle is complete and there is not even one left.

Such a well-worn term as Messiah carries with it a multitude of false understandings in great need of winnowing. Simply putting a marker here, leaves an openness for a needed next conversation.

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